“[A] subtle and unnerving story of the little things that can tip the balance of one’s life and send it spiraling into chaos.”—Publishers Weekly
Stephen King called Michael Marshall’s debut novel The Straw Men, “a masterpiece…brilliantly written and scary as hell.” With Killer Move, the acclaimed author of Bad Things and The Intruders demonstrates that he has only gotten better with time. The electrifying story of a man on the fast track to success who finds that his life has been chillingly “modified” by someone, somewhere with a very different master plan for his future, KillerMove is a remarkably intelligent, genuinely creepy thriller from Phillip K. Dick Award-winner Marshall.
Michael Marshall is the author of the trilogy that includes The Straw Men, The Upright Man, and Blood of Angels, as well as the stand-alone novels The Servants, The Intruders, Bad Things, and Killer Move. He also works as a screenwriter for clients in London and Los Angeles, and is currently writing a television pilot set in New York City. He lives in London, England, with his wife and son.
What People are Saying About This
“Well-crafted and intriguing. . . . The Intruders twists and turns its way through a wonderfully weird and frightening tale. The fights are bloody, the chills are sub-zero, and the finale is jaw-dropping. How can you go wrong?”
Killer Move 4.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
You have a nice, ordered life. For the most part, you control your destiny. You have dreams and seek to fulfill them. Then one day, you wake to find you don't have control, someone else does.
This is the basic premise to Michael Marshall's latest novel. Open the cover and step into a world where almost nobody is who he or she seems to be. Where a deranged mind seeks personal gratification by playing a dangerous game and where a man seeks vengeance against those who wronged him.
Bill Moore: South Florida realtor. Ambitious. Competitive. In control. Looking to advance up the ladder to become part up the echelon of wealth, until he finds pieces of his life slowly going awry. Events occur for which others think he's responsible. At first they're small, seemingly unimportant, but soon, they mushroom into a chaos so intense, Moore doesn't know where to turn next or who to trust, if he can trust anybody.
This is a scary book. This isn't some monster in the closet or up from the ocean depths scary. It isn't even a psycho killer in a hockey mask stalking teenagers scary. This one worms its way into your mind, sneaks its way into your subconscious and makes you look at your life just a little differently than you did yesterday. It plays upon a basic fear of completely losing control of the world around you, of how order becomes entropy. Near the end, Marshall makes reference to his previous book, "The Straw Men," (in a slightly tongue in cheek manner on one occasion), but you don't have to necessarily have read that one first. If you haven't, then you'll want to after "Killer Move."
Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine
craso on LibraryThing
8 months ago
John Hunter has just been paroled from prison. He was incarcerated for killing the woman he loved, a crime he did not commit. Bill Moore sells condos on the Florida Keys. He does everything he has been told will make him successful; he works out, he quit smoking, he gets daily affirmation emails, practices positive thinking and visualization. One day Bill finds a card on his desk at work with the word "modified" printed on it. Small inconveniences start occurring with the word "modified" attached and then things start getting serious. Bill becomes the main suspect in the police's investigation of a missing man.What do these men have in common? Why is John Hunter's story so important to answering Bill's questions?This novel is divided between Bill's first person narrative and a third personal omniscient look at John Hunter. It is obvious that Bill is unwittingly part of a game that has become deadly, but it takes a while to bring both men's stories together. I would have liked to have read more about John, but this is really Bill's story.This intelligent thriller kept me guessing until the very end. Even when I thought all the questions were answered there was one final twist. A well written engaging thriller I highly recommend.
mikedraper on LibraryThing
8 months ago
Every now and then an author creates a book that is truly unique and causes the reader to stop and consider what is being said.John Hunter is released from prison after serving sixteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He's had plenty of time to plan his revenge for the people who framed him.Bill Moore is a real estate agent in Florida. He's successful and loves his wife but wants more and has a plan to obtain his goal but he's behind his time table. One day he notices a paper on his desk with the word "MODIFIED" on it.He doesn't think anything about it but soon a series of things happen that changes his life. Something is placed on his computer and his wife becomes very upset with him. An appointment is missed and the client's secretary denies making an appointment. People are killed and he becomes a suspect when a man goes missing.Michael Marshall has written an intelligent novel that is a puzzle that the reader must solve. What is the connection between John Hunter, Bill Moore and the missing man?It takes a while before we find a connection between these people and the action moves at a breakneck pace that seduces the reader, and yet, nothing is as it seems.The author brings up good points about greed in society and the wealthy assuming that they won't be held accountable for their deeds.The dialogue is right on but only the two main characters are really developed. The plot is complicated and unpredictable however, it is still unimaginably addictive.
IronMike on LibraryThing
8 months ago
By the time you get to page 82 in Killer Move, you will likely already have run to your computer to change all your important passwords. If you have been reading the book while on a commuter train you will be praying that you make it home before it is too late to change your passwords and your life is ruined. Killer Move will make you paranoid. And, like they say, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean everyone isn't out to get you. John Hunter and Bill Moore have never met, but they each fall prey to the same insidious cabal... a group of people that gets their kicks by destroying other people's lives. Killer Move follows the story of each of these two men as they separately deal with this sinister cabal. Moore and Hunter meet briefly toward the end of the book under circumstances in which neither trusts the other, but each of them learns something from the other to help him in his fight against their common enemy. Still not trusting each other, they split paths again, each resolving to put an end to the madness one way or another. The writing is riveting and chilling. It is not a book for the faint of heart. There are gruesome murders. While we are spared descriptions of the actual brutish criminal acts as they transpire, the descriptions of the bodies in the aftermath of the crimes are a bit disturbing. But then, in the midst of this horror there are tender recollections of love and romance, in which MacDonald's holds a special place. Can you imagine a candle-lit table for two at MacDonald's? Actually, it is quite nice and memorable. And there are lovely recollections of a young man and woman walking along a beach. Quite nice, but they don't last long before the world again starts falling apart around our protagonists. As I prepared to write this review I kept thinking "5 Stars, 5 Stars." But there was a period of time in the middle of the book where I felt that the narrative had lost its tension. I began to doubt that the author could tie all the wild happenings together and make sense of it all. (He does.) But for a while there, I had the feeling that Killer Move was a replay of an old Twilight Zone episode in which a bunch of people are trapped in a space enclosed by a high wall and they can't get out. And at the end of the episode the people turn out to have been toys in a child's toy box. Thankfully, the book doesn't end this way, but my interest had begun to wane. Late in the book Bill Moore, and later John Hunter, each meet with two members of the evil cabal. These people reveal secrets about the cabal to Moore and Hunter without putting up much of a fuss...except in the case of Hunter who had become a bit too pro-active for his own good. Better would have been (as they say in chess books) if the protagonists had discovered these secrets on their own. But these are minor faults. I highly recommend Michael Marshall's "Killer Move," although the title doesn't really fit the book...(another minor fault,) and although I disagree with Chamfort's maxim cited in the beginning of the book (very roughly translated as "being philosophical is often a miserable way to spend your life...act; do stuff; don't think too much...don't ponder the meaning of your own existence.") myself much preferring Socrates' opposing view that "the unexamined life is not worth living"...(another minor fault.)
celticlady53 on LibraryThing
8 months ago
This book starts out with a bang and does not let go. Little things start happening to Bill Moore, an upscale realtor in Florida, and he really does not pay attention at first. Then it starts affecting his personal life when his wife accuses him of being a peeping tom with his co-worker. There is proof on his computer but he didn't do it. From that point on the action just keeps on going. A very suspensful story about how your life can get turned around and changed if someone is out to "modify" it. This book is very well written and holds the reader captive as the mystery starts to unfold. Twists and turns in the story will keep you turning the pages until the end. Very creepy.As you can see by the authors bio, he is a very accomplished author, screenwriter etc. I highly recommend this book to any reader of the mystery/thriller genre.
mhanlon on LibraryThing
8 months ago
This book started a little slow, especially for a Michael Marshall book, and seemed to take around 90-100 pages to find itself, but eventually did. And once it did it was a cracking read. Not as totally immersive as some of his others, but a great way to spend a bit of your time.
More than 1 year ago
Michael Marshall's latest book Killer Move opens with a newly released con named Hunter seeking payback for a crime he says he didn't commit.
We then meet realtor Bill Moore, a man with a five year plan - increasing his condo sales numbers in the Florida keys, opening up his own realty office, rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers in his corner of the world. Problem is - it's year six. But Bill is nothing if not upbeat. It will happen.. he just has to work a little harder at it.
Small things start to happen - a card with nothing but a single word - Modified - is left on his desk. A book from Amazon that he can't remember ordering, a prime table at a restaurant he doesn't recall making a reservation for. Then it starts to escalate - he discovers compromising photos on his computer, conveniently stored in a folder labelled Modified. And suddenly that very simple word takes on ominous overtones. Because someone is playing a game with Bill's life....
What a great premise - an everyday guy with no idea who or why someone would mess with him. Bill's desperate attempts to stop his life spiralling out of control are alternated with Hunter's steps to exact retaliation.
Bill tells his story from a first person narrative, which I have to admit I found increasingly annoying in the first few chapters. It took quite a few chapters beyond the prologue for me to become invested in the book. Bill's thoughts on his father and his philosophy on selling were tiresome. The plot is inventive and plausible, but some of the 'moves' were a bit over the top. The ending was somewhat disappointing, referencing a previous book by Marshall as an explanation for what has gone on.
That being said, I think Marshall has come up with a great idea. How much of our lives are controlled by passwords and online access? How secure are they? How much would it take someone to start games with our lives? A good read, but not great for me. Linwood Barclay does it better.
More than 1 year ago
Bill Moore already has a lot, but he wants more...much more.
He's got a lucrative job selling condos in the Florida Keys, a successful wife, a good marriage, a beautiful house. He also has a five-year plan for super-success, but that plan has begun to drag into its sixth year without reaping its intended rewards. So not Bill's starting to mix it up - just a little - to accelerate his way into the future that he knows he deserves.
Then one morning Bill arrives at work to find a card waiting for him, with no indication who it's from or why it was sent. Its message is just one word: MODIFIED.
From that moment on, Bill's life begins to change.
At first, nothing seems very different. But when things begin to unwind rapidly, and one after another, people around Bill start to die, it becomes increasingly clear that someone somewhere has a very different plan for Bill's future. Confused and angry, Bill begins to fight against this unseen force until he comes to a terrifying, inescapable realization: Once modified, there's no going back.
In the latest suspense thriller by Michael Marshall, Killer Moves is a non stop, page turner that literally will keep you guessing until the very final page. He creates the suspense from the prologue and it only intensifies as the reader continues the unraveling of Bill Moore's life. This book is amazing and one I haven't read for quite some time. I love it when an author can keep you riveted to the story but have you second guessing yourself until the end.
I received this book compliments of HarperCollins Publishers for my honest review and highly recommend it to those of you crime solving readers who love a twisting, complex case to figure out. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and this one left a lasting mark. I will forever be looking over my shoulder just to see whose following me. Not everyone is as innocent as they appear.
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
Bill Moore has a successful realty business selling condos in South Florida. He has a great marriage with a wonderful wife Steph who he loves. They live in a beautiful house in Sarasota.
However, Bill is more ambitious than Lady Macbeth and is upset that he is behind on achieving his BHAGs. He begins taking shortcuts. One morning Bill arrives at his office to find an odd black-colored card on his desk. On the card's surface is printed in white lettering: "modified." His perfect life begins to unravel slowly at first but picking up momentum as purchases he never made arrive against his credit card and an e-mail sent from his address though not by him leads to major trouble with his wife as the filed Modified contain pictures he never took. While Bill tries to find a way to fight back against the unknown Modified, John Hunter is paroled after spending time for a homicide. He seeks vengeance.
This is a gripping suspense thriller as the American dream turns into a nightmare for Bill. The story line is fast-paced from the opening scene in which the reader learns convicted murderer John did not do the crime and never slows down as his life is destroyed and Bill's is subtly going down the cesspool too. With innuendoes of the Straw Men involved (see The Straw Men, The Upright Man, and Blood of Angels) and with with Bill's nuked life spinning out of control just like John's did, Michael Marshall writes a taut tale.